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Dabboo Ratnani Calendar - 2007

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Bipasha Basu

Bipasha's photo was not entirely shot underwater but it was insinuated like an underwater picture. This was the picture for which we needed the maximum amount of time because this was the only picture for which we used visual effects. We had to make the hair and the dress look like it is in water so we consulted some underwater specialists. We also saw a lot of underwater pictures to see how the clothes and the hair would react and to gauge how much distortion happens in water. The concept is that of an angel, or a mermaid, releasing a gold fish into the sea. It is a bit of fantasy mixed with creativity. We got bizarre ideas like showing a shark swim near her, but then we stuck to simplicity. The picture looked beautiful and did not end up looking scary or dangerous. Bipasha generally portrays a hot and sexy image but here she looks angelic. Although this picture is also serene and sensual, Bipasha has never been seen doing an angelic picture like this before. That is what I like about this picture.

John Abraham

I told John that my concept is "Water". I didn't want to do a body-shot of John like it has been done by others time and again. I wanted to portray John in a way that has never been seen before. So I suggested we do a real tight close-up with a tear drop in his eye. John was skeptical in the beginning but I told him he was one face that would look beautiful even with tears in his eyes. So he went with my instinct and got the picture done. When I showed him the image he was totally amazed with the lighting, the glow, the tear-drop. We had to do this shot a few times because we had to put glycerin in his eye without letting his eye go completely red. There were lots of shots when the tear rolled down his cheek but I liked the one when it just broke out from his eye. We got the shot within fifteen minutes of shooting.

Aishwarya Rai

For Aishwarya, we decided to go in for a black and white, post-rainfall picture in a vintage Austin car. I briefed her on the concept and she pretty much liked it. You can see water droplets on the window and the roof of the car. It looks as if she rolled down the window and somebody called out to her. Of course we shot it in colour but when I punched it into black and white, it looked stunning and did more justice to the vintage feel. Ash looked beautiful with the make-up and she was wearing a white top anyway, so when I de-saturated the skin tone, the black and white effect looked awesome. With Ash it is always a pleasure to work. She is a true delight to work with because she is focused and gives stunning shots every time. It is very difficult to photograph her badly!

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